Comments to NASA regarding Pluto Horizons nuclear space mission

My letter that I hope is not too late.

Mission and Systems Management Division
Science Mission Directorate
Washington DC

Dear Mr. Lindstrom;

Hopefully my comments on the New Horizon mission will be accepted. I am writing to you at April 11, 7pm PST.

For quite some time I have been concerned about NASA's missions to various plants. I received the New Horizons pluto mission DEIS booklet from you and read that each radioisotopic thermal generator contains 133,000 curies. As one who lives in a county with nuclear reactor, I know that area citizens that host any facility containing nuclear materials must constantly be watchful of that facility. The arrogance of DOE and NASA in viewing this project as safe is disappointing. People around Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida will no doubt take on watchdog roles to insure public safety from rocket accidents. No nuclear material and operations in this world are as safe as the New Horizons plutonmission booklet claims.

Additionally, the RTG process is cyclical in that the beginning of the production starts somewhere else. Organizations such as Snake River Alliance in Idaho are prepared for the problems that RTG production will bring to the Idaho Fall's facility INEEL.

Space vessel launches create additional pollution in the form of hydrazine and perchlorate. In California alone, two major rivers, the American and the Colorado, have been contaminated by rocket chemical materials, and vegetable fields as well as cow's milk have become contaminated with rocket chemical byproducts. The issue therefore, is not just radioactive toxic materials, but other chemical toxic materials as well. Every area hosting rocket and missile launches endure toxic problems, and Florida's Cape Canaveral is no exception.

Finally, the space missions rob Earth planetary citizens of basic needs. The vast majority of Earth's citizens are so poor that even clean water and food are out of reach. The homeless population of our planet are increasing due to wars and theft of resources by NASA, DOE, DOD and aerospace corporations. The transfer of Earth's money to space is grossly unfair.

Please drop this project.

Thank you and sincerely,
Sheila Baker


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April 2005

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